How can I help save SARDA

a) Write letters of support (or objection) to newspapers, your localcouncillor (Penny East for Tokai and Liz Brunette for Constantia), the Constantia Property Owners Association or Government or
b) Offer your professional services in matters legal, building and land related.
c) Aid SARDA Cape Town financially. All funds will be used in the land claims matter to SAVE SARDA Cape Town from closing down. See SARDA’S How Can I Help Page for the dedicated Save SARDA Cape Town bank details.

Have you taken legal advice

Yes, we have and the opinion that we received stated that we could have legal recourse. However, this would be a very costly exercise as the estimate that we have received is in the region of R400 000 because the Land Claims court is equal in standing to the High Court so the appeal would have to go to the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontien. If we were successful in having what we have been advised is an overcompensation over ruled it is still unlikely that we would be able to stay on the land as it could then be awarded to another of the 98 outstanding land claimants in the Constantia valley. We have therefore decided that the legal route is not a viable option for us at this time unless we can secure a company to sponsor the legal fees or work for us on a pro bono basis.

Who have you contacted

We have contacted local and national government departments and are involved in ongoing discussions with them. Discussions with any party are influenced by the fact that SARDA has still not been officially informed of the possible land ownership. We have also contacted, and met with, a member from the Sadien family and are waiting for them to get back to us. The Constantia Property Owners Association who state on their website “ We have a special responsibility to ensure our unique historical and culturalenvironment is protected for future generations” have given us a letter of support but have not offered any further assistance despite, we are told, having discussed our dire situation at management level.

Are you considering buying land

Yes, we would love to but it is totally dependant on us being able to raise an amount that the Sadien family would consider as acceptable restitution. The last municipal value for Erf 142 was R53 million. Please see the How Can I Help page or contact the SARDA office at 021 7944393 for further details about how to donate.

How is the land zoned

The land is zoned C01 – community. It was originally expropriated for a school and the title deed lists the owner as National Government. Historically the land use zoning is often altered during the transfer process with land that has been awarded in restitution cases. This could mean that the local residents may not be afforded the opportunity to voice their concerns with the usual public participation processes.

Have you met with the Sadien family

Yes we have. A contingent of SARDA management members and other volunteers met with a representative from the Sadien family in March. He listened to our concerns but sadly could not give us any information as to their plans for the future with the land. He promised to talk to the family and refer to us – that was in MARCH and since then, despite extensive efforts from our side we have had no further luck in contacting any of the Sadien family.

Can you relocate

In theory we could, but where to Reasonable tracts of available land in the Tokai and Constantia area are few and far between and many of those that are currently vacant have been set aside for future land claimants. To keep our costs down, as we do not receive any government funding and therefore have to fundraise our annual running costs of close to R1 million a year, we rely on the grazing that we have to feed our horses or, as we prefer to call them, our equine therapists. We could continue to operate effectively on 10 acres with grazing and would then be able to continue to incorporate other local equine ventures as we presently do with the Constantia Valley Riding Club who use SARDA as their home base.

What would be the best outcome

To raise enough money to enable us to buy the land and stay where we are. At the moment it looks highly unlikely that we will be able to relocate to land in the vicinity so over 220 disabled adults and children will be deprived of their free weekly therapeutic horse riding lessons. Moving out of the area is also not a real option, although it had been investigated. SARDA relies on the over 100 volunteers that help us each week to ensure the effectiveness of our work and the safety of ourriders. The majority of our volunteers live locally and are retired, therefore on fixed monthly incomes; with the ever increasing cost of petrol it is unlikely that they would be able to afford to drive to an area outside of our present locale. Additionally we have been operating in the valley for nearly 40 years so to have to re-establish in a new location and forge the good will partnerships that have been built up over the years would be a mammoth task.

How is the land claim progressing

We have no idea but have been told that the transfer of land from the state is often a long process. To date we have not been contacted by anyone from the national Dept of Public Works to give us notice or inform us of the awarding of Erf 142 to the Sadien family despite words to the contrary by Mr.Vuyani Nkasayi, regional spokesman for the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, who said that SARDA had not been kept out of the loop. We appeal to anyone who has access to the deed’s office to keep an eye on Erf 142 and to please let us know when transfer is imminent.

Did the land ever belong to the Sadien Family

NO – this is their choice of alternate land. The land that the Sadien family owned is Erf 2274, 5.14 hectares of Sillery Farm (driving towards Hour Bay on Main Road, the land is on the left hand side just past the Christ Church lights and before the Silverhurst Green belt). The erf size that they have been awarded is nearly double the size of their erf at 8.9 hectares or 22 acres vs. 5.14 hectares or 12.7 acres.

Is the land vacant

No – SARDA have been on the land for the last 32 years. Aerial photos show our infrastructure and anyone driving past can clearly see that the
land is occupied.